Sunday, January 25, 2009

Inspector Anders and the fight against crime

Inspector Anders is an expert on combating terrorism and anarchy and is called upon when a new suspected outbreak occurs. Closing down the activities of a terrorist cell in the 1980s made Anders a hero but he lost a leg in the process.

In Inspector Anders and the Wooden Leg Anders is sent to southern Italy to report on the violent deaths of local officials investigating corruption. Each death is blamed on anarchists but the groups have disbanded. Corruption abounds in the city where the Mafia rules and as the investigation continues Anders concludes that more than a report is needed to stop the corruption at all levels and the assassinations.

Inspector Anders and the Ship of Fools
sees Anders and Matucci, now members of Interpol, investigating an explosion in Frankfurt and threats against companies and individuals in a number of European countries, particularly France and Germany. With the advent of the European Union boundaries between countries have become invisible making it easier for criminals to move from one country to another without trace. The threat is against large corporations planning mergers resulting in a loss of jobs for many employees. As the investigation continues it is apparent that the perpetrator has special powers to carry out the crimes.

In Inspector Anders and the Blood Vendetta, Anders is sent to Milan to investigate the killing of two right wing politicians. Are the deaths due to terrorists or are they political killings? During the investigation he also spends time tracing the theft of a painting.

Anders is in his fifties and in the first book plans to retire after completing the case. However after taking on the Mafia his life is in constant danger and he is aware of the threat not only due to the current investigation but also from members of the Mafia who have threatened to kill him. The events in past years affect his decisions and actions, particularly when it comes to using weapons. He is also conscious of the restrictions of having an artificial limb though he endeavours not to let this interfere with his work. In each book he has relationships with one or two women, usually women who also have a troubled past. A sub theme throughout the three books is Anders' endeavours to write a book in tribute to Anton Anders, an ancestor who was a poet in the nineteenth century.

The books by Australian author, Marshall Browne, are set in Europe, particularly in Italy, and have many layers and complexities in the exploration of plot and characters. They are crime stories well worth reading.

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